Airlines may soon need to file annual harassment reports

Women in many Arizona industries are concerned about sexual harassment on the job. However, airline and other transportation workers may be particularly worried. For example, one survey found that over 66 percent of flight attendants have experienced sexual harassment on the job, and many flight attendants are seeking greater attention to the issue. Federal lawmakers have proposed a bill that could require airlines and other companies in the transportation business to report on their annual incidents of workplace sexual harassment.

The bill would require the federal Department of Transportation to collect information from airline, rail and bus companies about sexual harassment and assault. The proposal comes after a survey by the Association of Flight Attendants revealed the rampant problem with harassment experienced by flight attendants. The union represents around 50,000 flight attendants across the country, including workers at major airlines like United and Alaska. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio from Oregon, also requires these companies to have formal policies on sexual harassment and assault publicly posted on their websites.

In many cases, sexual harassment comes directly from passengers during the course of a flight, when law enforcement is unavailable and little can be done. There are also particular problems when dealing with international flights as authorities abroad may have different requirements and standards for prosecuting harassment in the air. Flight attendants may be left with few opportunities to take action and put an end to harassment that happens while in the sky.

Of course, sexual harassment can affect workers in any industry. An individual who has experienced harassment at work may want to hire legal counsel and consider filing a claim.

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